Writers Abroad Magazine 6 May 2017 - Page 30

WRITERS ABROAD MAGAZINE: THE THIRD SPACE HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH BY NINA CROFT They say that everyone has at least one book in them. But it used to be that if you wanted to get your wonderful book in front of the world, then you had to manoeuvre your way around the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Overcome the almost impossible task of persuading a literary agent to take you on. Then they had to sell your manuscript to a publisher. That’s all changed now, and absolutely anyone has the ability to publish their works of art and make them available to millions of readers. I’m not going to get into the argument here of whether this is a good or a bad thing, (except to say that I veer on the side of good with a little bit of bad thrown in). I’m just going to go through the steps involved. Personally, I do a mixture of self- publishing and through a publisher. I love self-publishing, it allows you so much control over what your final book looks like, how much you sell it for, where you sell it… So what’s involved? Image sourced from Flickr • First decide what you want to write. For some of us this might be easy – for me it’s one of the hardest parts. I write fiction in all sorts of genres; romance, paranormal, contemporary, science-fiction. At any one time, I have numerous stories I want to write, but at some point, I have to pick just one (I can’t write two stories at the same time—it makes my head explode.) And to complicate matters further, it doesn’t have to be a work of fiction. It could be non-fiction, or a magazine (like this one). The list is endless. You can research what to write, try and work out what is selling, but basically, I believe the best advice is to write what you love, what inspires you, what you enjoy reading… • Next, you have to write your work of art. This is the fun part. Really it is. And I won’t go into details, such as whether to plot or not to plot etc. because everyone is different and besides, there are literally thousands of ‘how to’ books on the subject. So get reading and writing. • Once you have your first draft, leave it at least a few weeks, then read it. Hopefully, you’re going to be surprised by how good it is. Or not. Then you edit it. And edit it again and polish it and… • When you’ve polished it so much you can see your reflection in its shiny surface (and by this point you never want to lay eyes on it again) get 29 | MAY 2017